Saturday, June 28, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Change it is a comin'

When I started this blog just over 2 years ago, it was the repository for all the non-fiber commentary I needed to blog about: tv shows, new internet obsessions, jokes, cooking etc. Over the past year it's basically turned into the journal of my fitness work. What I do, what I eat, what's a challenge, etc.

After some long talks with myself, I decided to move all the fitness stuff over to it's own space. From now on, you can find me writing at Weight for Deb. WordPress made it easy for me to import everything, and edit out the stuff that didn't apply to the theme.

As for this blog. I'll probably just let it sit for a while. Maybe move the non-fitness posts I like over to A Stitch in Time. Maybe just let this be a repository until Google gets tired of storing it.

So if you come here to read the fitness stuff, please go check out the new crib and change your feeder reader (I know, what a pain!). I'll probably try to make the place a bit prettier over the next few weeks.. and will definitely be growing that blogroll. Let me know that I need to add you.

Now scoot! Go see what's up...

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why I Exercise

Come As You Are
If exercising makes a woman look this relaxed and happy, why wouldn't she do it?

I've already documented how I started working out this time, and the amazing benefits I've found in exercise. But Charlotte (and indirectly MizFit) asked why I exercise; I'm taking this to mean why do I exercise now.

I started explaining why I exercise by writing about how other people react to my still exercising. After all, I have reached my goal weight. I have not reached my goal body composition.. yet they seem to think...Oh wait.. how others react is a completely different post for another day. Let me get back on track.

Why do I exercise?

1. Concentration and focus. After my foot surgery last year, I discovered that cardio exercise clears my head, and lets me focus (anesthesia brain sucks as badly as menopause brain. They are banished with the exercise for me). I can concentrate better and get more work done on the 3-5 hours after a workout than any other time in most days.

2. Mood Control. I suffer from anxiety, depression and insomnia. The chemical changes that occur in my brain when working out, and especially when I'm working hard, temper these moods to the point that I'm not running to the doctor for the next great medication. I take one (atavan or I don't sleep); and I'm hoping that someday this too can be decreased or banished from my medicine drawer.

3. Heart and Brain Health. The only two blood relatives of mine who didn't die of heart disease died of Alzheimer Disease. This is my daily nightmare. Yet most of the recent research shows that the same mechanisms cause both diseases (the individual body becomes more susceptible to one system or the other being attacked). One of the major ways of combating both diseases with a combination of cardio and weight training. Weight training can physically build a strong cardiovascular system and rebuild brain.

I say now that I'm working on my 40 year plan. I make choices daily based on whether they will help me live another 40 years. Exercise is one of the smartest and easiest parts of that decision process.

4. Self-Esteem. I have a crappy self-esteem. Abuse, both emotional and physical, has taken its toll on me. Standing up tall, arms strong and back, and knowing that I don't look like the "typical 55 year old post-menopausal American woman" gives me something I can hang some pride on. And even if I'm not feeling very esteemed.. I damn well LOOK like I do!

5. Something just for myself. When I head to the gym, I'm not going there to please anyone but myself. We ALL need activities that are purely selfish in nature. Things that we do because they center us. I don't care if we're male, female, busy mothers, factory workers or most of these rolled up in one. Exercising for me is "me time." I walk into the gym and close the door on the world.

So, like others, my exercise has little to do with body image issues. (well, except that I want people to admire my arms. Loudly. Publicly. Often.) There are body images involved in this whole thing some of which I hit upon when reading Zandria post about disordered eating. But once again, that's a post for another day.

So I'll pass the question along. Why do you exercise??
I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Plus and Minus

This week I'm having a little problem. Not a new problem, more like an old habit. I can't seem to shake it no matter how much I know it's bad for me.

I hang on to every negative thing that happens to me; gnawing away at it like a starving dog with a meaty bone.

A slight, a slur, a disappointment. I grab those negative reactions and work them into a fine lather. I reword my reactions (hm.. that's the telling word there, isn't it?) over and over and don't let the matter drop.

When something does manage to slide in and get on me another track, it's often temporary. As soon as that chore or activity is finished.. back to the bone I go for more.

Yet when something good and positive happens to me, I sit in the positive for a moment or twenty. And when some other demand comes along (which could be the exact same thing that gets me off my negative tirade), I drop the positive glow for good.

It becomes something that happened, where the negative things stay as something happening.

It's not healthy. It's not right. I need to retrain myself to drop those negatives at the first distraction, and come back to revisit the positives.

I know this all about my expectations that people will disappoint me; that I am not worthy of the positives that come my way. Yet it is my choice on some level to focus this way. I don't have the answers yet, but if recognition is the first step, I'm working on it.

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Question of the year.. can I call myself a blogger when I forget to blog regularly? I need to set myself up a schedule, write it down and stick to it!

I missed last week's Tale of the Scale somewhere in here. Tuesday is supposed to be a "measures" day (have I maintained that 28% body fat? Converted more to muscle? Or more to fat? We'll soon find out). So I'll do this week's Tale after that.

Lately, I have not been disciplined about planning out my meals. I'm not sure if it's because we're kind of between seasons, so what I can get in the grocery store is limited (or too expensive); yet there isn't a great choice at the farmer's market yet. Or if I've gotten lazy. Or if.. or if...

The result of this lack of planning are too many habitual meals like I used to make. Not necessarily unhealthy, but too high in carbs and saturated fats and too low in vegetables. I wish I wrote down food plans and saved them; I could just look back a few weeks (or months) to remember what it was I doing.

Does it matter? I don't feel as good as did a few weeks ago; my moods are swinging like a chandelier in an earthquake; I'm not sleeping as well as I was. So, yeah, I think I need to examine this more closely.

Back to the flexitarian diet? I think so. Maybe tell the spouse he's going to have to be responsible for a couple of his own meals during the week. (yeah, part of it is laziness. He won't eat what I'm eating and with limited time I don't always want to double cook..)

Do any of you deal with a variety of diets when you're preparing meals? I know you if you have little ones you can't tell them to cook for themselves.. but how do you deal with this?

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Today is a Start...

Ask how today went, and my first reaction would be: I did a lot of nothing. I did not grocery shop, I did not do the laundry. I did not buy a pretty red dress. I did not meet any friends or have a conversation with a stranger.

Most of the day I would say I'm in a tenuous mood, a low-energy state. I am not having a "good" day. I'm feeling tense, dismissed, alone. Familiar place, but not the place I want to be. I'm tired of living here.

I realized, too, that all this is based upon how I choose to react to my life. I can choose to look at my day differently. I am letting LIFE push me not the other way around.

Today, I tried on a pretty red dress, imagined myself wearing it out to a cocktail party (like BlogHer), considered the jewelry I own that might look right with it. Realized I'd need new shoes. The dress was pretty, inexpensive, and would have been a cheery addition to my closet.

But it wasn't the best I could have. If I choose, I can have a better dress. A dress of finer material that will not just look nice on me for one or two evenings, but a dress that could be stunning on me for a decade or more. Not a "throw away" dress in a soon-to-be-out-of-fashion, but a classic. A dress that stamps the memories of those viewing it as: That is Deb in HER dress!

I want to choose for better. I want to act not react. I want to be responsible for my day, not let my day rule me. Today is a start...

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Getting Back on The Horse What Brung You

So let me review:

I was frustrated and discouraged hating everything about my workouts but still doing them.

Then I worked out with Maria and the world shifted to the side of light and giggles and forever-after giddiness. (like THAT was going to last).

So I got back on the horse what brung me (just do the work, babe, and the results will come), and felt a bit of success.

Tweaked my back, overdid the NSAIDs, reacted (nausea is such an unpleasant thing). Grumpy, depressed and hating things again.

Felt a bit better, worked out, and felt much better. Yes, this is the answer!

Hit some frustration (basic equipment being stolen from the gym, going at times when it's too busy, not working with trainer) and I'm sliding to that shady side of the hill again.

Taking myself to a baseball game this week to find the answer in the sunshine.

Can we say the mood swings are back in force? Wish I could put a finger on the trigger.

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Exercise Can Make You Smarter

I've read complicated articles and books that hint at this truth. But last week, I found an article that says it all:

Exercise can make you smarter.

A taste:

Hillman's study, which will be published later this year, isn't definitive enough to stand alone. But it doesn't have to: it's part of a recent and rapidly growing movement in science showing that exercise can make people smarter. Last week, in a landmark paper, researchers announced that they had coaxed the human brain into growing new nerve cells, a process that for decades had been thought impossible, simply by putting subjects on a three-month aerobic-workout regimen. Other scientists have found that vigorous exercise can cause older nerve cells to form dense, interconnected webs that make the brain run faster and more efficiently. And there are clues that physical activity can stave off the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease, ADHD and other cognitive disorders. No matter your age, it seems, a strong, active body is crucial for building a strong, active mind.

Go. Read. Work. Get Smart.

I also blog at: A Stitch In Time throughout the week and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.